Truth is stranger than fiction. And here is example of it. The BBC reports that after a fundraiser at a Titanic musical, the very lifeboat station involved was broken into. The crew of the RNLI Kessock found that the store cupboard had been broken into but neither the boathouse or lifeboat inside were touched.
Kessock helmsman Stan McRae said: “To think that someone would try to break into a Lifeboat station makes you feel just gutted, especially given how the RNLI is funded with voluntary donations from the public.”
Things are heating up in Britain these days as Labour decides to go after the upper class with new taxes. This prompted Conservative leader David Cameron to compare Labour leadership to Titanic’s captain.
Cameron said: “It’s like the captain of the Titanic saying “Let me command the lifeboats.”
If researchers at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia are right, best to be on a ship sinking slowly rather than one sinking fast reports the New York Times. They concluded the rate of sinking results in either “Women and Children First!” or “Every Man For Himself!” scenarios. Titanic’s sinking (1912) and Lusitania’s (1915) were used to test their hypothesis. Titanic sank slowly allowing for more children and women to survive. Lusitania sank fast so women and children had a lesser chance to survive.
“When you have to react very, very fast, human instincts are much faster than internalized social norms,” said Benno Torgler, an economics professor at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and one of the authors of the study, published in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
I am not sure this really tells us anything new about human behavior. There were a lot of factors that played into how many survived Titanic. And “Women and Children First” was not universal on Titanic. Lightoller enforced it but not other officers. There also was little panic. Lusitania, on the other hand, is a different story. A torpedo fired from a German submarine fatally ruptured her. She went down fast and everyone had to race to the lifeboats. In such situations, there is little time. One must move fast.
A recent travel write-up noted how much Belfast has changed since peace began.
“When I first visited Belfast in the early 1980s it was an uninviting destination by day and a ghost town by night. The Provos were blowing up the place and their Loyalist street rivals were retaliating with murderous intent. Dickens once described Belfast as “a fine place with rough people”. He was wrong. Belfast people are supremely friendly but the place used to be as dangerous as a tin of Spam left out in the sun.”
On a more recent visit, he found the place well worth visiting. ” Belfast is born again. The City Hall commands views over grand hotels, smart shops, handsome public buildings, an ice hockey arena, waterfront apartments with jetties and scores of hip restaurants. Shoppers are everywhere. Gunmen, police and soldiers are nowhere to be seen. Salmon have returned to the Lagan. The normality is surreal.“
During his trip around the city, he went to where Titanic was built and noted: “Unexpectedly awestruck, I’m looking into the massive dock on Queen’s Island where the Titanic was built: 39 metres wide, 259 metres long, 13 metres deep. Belfast once led the world in shipbuilding, linen manufacturing and rope making. There were 49,000 ship workers alone.”
The picture at the top is from the Belfast City Council and shows the 2009 Christmas celebration. One bit of discord is that big wheel you see there. It blocks entrance to the Titanic monument there, which has caused a row between the local Titanic group and the city leaders. You can read about it at the news side of the site. Hopefully the next time they put it up they are more mindful of not blocking the Titanic memorial that likely tourists will want to see. After all that is what they are spending millions of pounds for in the first place.
Science Museum of Minnesota’s Titanic exhibition recently had a bit of drama reports KARE 11. Andrew Langbehn decided it was the place to ask his girlfriend, Kristen Lodgaard, to marry him. According to KARE 11:
So when Andrew decided it was time to pop the question, he could think of only one place to do it. KARE 11 was there as Andrew got down on one knee in front of the grand staircase inside the Titanic exhibit. Kristen said “yes” and the exhibits’ guests were treated to the couple’s first kiss as an engaged pair.
Someone could make a Titanic joke about a wedding proposal amongst Titanic artifacts, but for now I wish them all the best.
Bill Mechanic, former chief at 20th Century Fox Studio and involved with Disney’s home video, recently spoke at Independent Film & Television Alliance’s production conference in Santa Monica. According to Home Media Magazine he blamed studios for being more concerned about budgets than changing market forces.
“If I can buy Titanic for under $5 in some stores, why am I so eager then to rush out to pay $30 or so when it’s released on Blu-ray?” Mechanic said. “Is the quality that great? How many formats are yet to come?”
Good point. And if you already own “Titanic” or the three volume “Lord of The Rings” trilogy, are you willing to shell out more bucks for a blu-ray version? I suspect most people will not do so unless they are buying it for the first time.
Since we have been on the subject of Titanic items of late, this image floated to the top during a recent search. At first I was not quite sure what it really was. It is called “Acme Thunderer Titanic” but that name seems not really to say much about what this whistle will do. It seems to imply this is a very loud whistle that thunders above all others making it a titanic whistle of the first order. The whistle is in a British catalog called Judge’s Choice Petfood Ltd (By Appointment To Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth Petfood Supplier). It looks pretty cool and if anyone out there has actually blown this whistle, drop us a line here at Titanic News Channel.
This seems to be the year of Stanley Lord as we have another book examining his culpability that tragic night in 1912. The Titanic and the Indifferent Stranger written by Paul Lee is now out in an expanded paperback edition. According to the press release, the book is a 440 page detailed anaylsis that follows the controversy from its roots all the way through the books published for and against Stanley Lord, and the internal deliberations of the British government.
“The Titanic and the Indifferent Stranger” is a 440 page detailed analysis of the case, chronologically following the controversy from initial press reports of the mysterious ship seen from the Titanic’s bows, to the pronouncements made in later years by authors keen to promote their books and opinions over their rivals. Assisting in Dr. Lee’s conclusions is the first printing of the internal deliberations of the UK Government as the campaigns to clear Captain Lord’s name in 1965, 1968 and the early 1990s were ignited by Lord’s friends. The bequeathed papers of Captain Lord’s foe and namesake Walter Lord, and the Captain’s ardent supporter Leslie Harrison have been scoured and provide a rich source of information on the tactics employed on both sides of the argument – culminating in a legal bid to suppress a book critical of the Californian and its crew.
A review by Paul Rogers on the electronic edition at Encyclopedia Titanica gives it high marks. “Lee’s book is, quite simply, the most comprehensive presentation of evidence in relation to Captain Lord and his infamous ship that I have read to date. Rather than relying on footnotes and references, Lee presents, within the text itself, the full transcripts from the American and British Inquiries that relate to the Californian and the other ships implicated in the Titanic disaster. There is no bias whatsoever that I could perceive and Lee treats all those involved with scrupulous fairness.”
I have no doubt that both sides of the debate (the Lordites and Anti-Lordites) will be making their own appraisals known of Lee’s work in the near future (if they have not all ready done so by now).
According to thisisleicestershire.co.uk, the Titanic Cafe in Belgrave Gate, Leicester was closed (temporarily) on 13 Aug due to live rodents and mouse droppings found on the premises.
Officials from Leicester City Council’s food safety team found droppings and urine throughout the kitchen and serving area of the Titanic Cafe, in Belgrave Gate, Leicester. Cafe owner Nuri Bay appeared before city magistrates yesterday and was ordered to pay £866.62 costs after they upheld the council’s decision to issue an emergency hygiene notice to prevent the building from being used on August 13. The cafe has now reopened after inspectors revisited the premises prior to yesterday’s hearing.